For some reason, I still get vibed out when I bring my own bag to the grocery store… how is this still a foreign concept?
Then again, old habits die hard and forming new habits is a pain in the ass, too- I get that (I’ve been trying to quit biting my fingernails for over a decade and still haven’t kicked it).
Anyway, up above is a picture of my backpack. I’ve had it forever, and it has served me well in more situations than I can count.
The little bag at the bottom of the picture is the Chico Bag.
Between these two items, there’s no reason why I should I ever have to use a bag, paper or plastic- again.
Of course there’s times where you might forget- The Chico Bag has a little clip on it so you can attach it to something, if you remember to do that.
Plastic bags are the worst and paper bags aren’t all that much better. I’ve talked about this in the past plenty of times and I’ll continue to mention it until not only do we have a bag tax but everyone is subconsciously doing it.
[Bringing your own bags isn’t a groundbreaking message, either…trust me, I’m aware. However, it’s important to speak up…I guess.]
Admittedly, I’m still the guy that gets annoyed when someone asks me if I’d like a bag for that single item I purchased that fits in my fist… “it’s for convenience” was always the original response. Over the last year or so, responses have increasingly changed to “you’d be surprised how many people ask for a bag”.
Either there’s more jerks like me, or more people are declining the bag. Either way, just decline the bag. Millions of these things are wasted per day, and their life is about 5 minutes.
Plastic bags (and film plastics in general) are considered a contaminant by the recycling industry. As for paper bags, I can either pray to the recycling gods it will get recycled (best option assuming it does get recycled), or I can confidently compost it at home, but at least you can see it through without relying on anyone else.
Get in the habit of carrying a backpack to the grocery store, or a duffle bag, or a bunch of Chico Bags, or a well-made reusable bag, or really anything. Use the bottom of your shirt. Tuck your pant leg into your sock. Fill up your shoes with quinoa and granola and walk home barefoot.
This is merely step 1 in cutting your plastic footprint. Check out Beth Terry’s Plastic Free to take it to the next level… this book rules. She’s very aware how tricky it is to cut your plastic intake, and even acknowledges how frustrating it can be to avoid purchasing plastic. At one point it even led her to drink a lot- sadly I know exactly what this feels like.
Just try it. If you’re frustrated with how to make a positive impact, or just want to “get involved” a bit more, or you’re up for an extremely simple challenge with a simple benefit for the entire glob of star stuff we live on- bag your own groceries in your own bag (and don’t give me that “you’re putting someone out of a job” crap either- think a little harder about that one).